The President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Mr Ayuba Wabba, has reacted to the new policies approved by the Federal Government which threatens that no worker will be paid if they do not show up at their job.
Recall that the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige confirmed that the Federal Government has approved a White Paper ton Wednesday which hat will ensure drastic changes in federal public service.
According to the minister, the provisions contained in the paper outlawed private practice by government officials, especially health workers; has enforced the ‘no work, no pay’ rule; introduced the tenure of maximum of two terms for workers holding executive positions in unions; has pegged doctors’ residency training at seven years, among others.
Ngige explained that these rules were necessary because the nation’s public service had been bedevilled by various problems and conflicts, and he added that the technical committee that came up with the report was inaugurated in April 2016 and it submitted its report in October 2017. (You can read it up here.)
Now, Wahaba has reacted, saying that the right to go on a strike is a human and trade union right and cannot be wished away by any government policy.
“That’s why strike is legalised by our laws and has been exercised since the colonial era to date,” he said, via Punch. “The right to strike is what differentiates a worker from a slave; just like the right to strike, right to picketing, the right to work, right to protest and peaceful assembly.”
He continued, “So, the issue of no work, no pay has always existed. It is morally and legally wrong to apply a phrase in a body of law without respecting all other provisions of the same law.”
Wabba further stressed that there were clear procedures provided by law on how workers can embark on a strike, saying “once this legal requirement is met, the no work, no pay rule cannot apply.”